Monday, October 8, 2012

Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property rights are the essence of government interference. The truth is I think it all goes back to childhood when we argue who said what first or you stole my idea. The problem with protecting these rights is that they are intangible and hold no physical value. Protecting them is a constant headache in the 21st century and the booming technology world. Everything is instant and can be typically downloaded in less than a minute.

With the immediate success that people hold in the hands of their iphones, intellectual property rights have started to pop up just like their apps. There are several concerns regarding intellectual property rights: they contradict the right to free speech, and they are scarce and create complicated rules and regulations. Under the Constitution of the United States we are entitled to the freedom of speech as well as the freedom of the press and religious activity. If we start to claim our ideas as our own than we are infringing on the freedom of speech. What if we all claimed stakes to our name that our parents gave us from birth? There are not enough names to go around to name the millions of people around the world. We as humans have to realize that our special name was probably not created by our parents; they probably used an idea from someone and then copied or stole that idea.  For instance some children are named the months of the year: Autumn for a little girl, etc. 

We as Americans have to accept that our ideas are not as unique as we thought they were. Imagine the thousands of website authors and the issues that would arise if we protected their intellectual rights. This brings up the second idea that “traditional, tangible property is economically scarce” and that in protecting intangible rights it would cause immediate confusion and constant headaches. John Locke summed up the idea that “he who mixes his labor with raw materials becomes the owner”. Personally I would have to agree with John Locke because we live in a world that has become too big to be protecting ideas from one another. 

There are ways that if one desired they could protect their ideas such as the basic act of keeping it a secret. Do not tell anyone and then you will not have a problem.

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